I’m grateful to have created a business that is fulfilling and brings me great income, in an industry that is extremely competitive, where there are more failures than successes.
In any industry, I find that although people want success, most aren’t willing to do the work it takes to get there. Why?
There’s a profoundly mistaken assumption that many heart-centered people have:
“Once I finally discover the ultimate system, strategies, and mindset, then growing my business should feel easy... light... and fun!”
Is that true? Let me ask you:
Is it easy, light, and fun to experience personal growth?
Perhaps occasionally, but you know that genuine growth includes challenges.
Situations that aren’t easy, light and fun are actually what stretch us. Challenges make us stronger, more flexible, creative, compassionate and wise.
What about all those business gurus that look like they’re always having fun while building their 6 and 7 figure businesses? They’re showing you the 1-5% of their life… usually hiding from you the many difficulties and hardships.
Anyone who tries to sell a dream of easy success and an “ultimate system” is making their money selling you an illusion. Run the other direction. Unsubscribe from such emails, social media pages, podcasts, YouTube channels, etc. Go do it now. Consuming their fantasy is wasting your time, filling your mind with delusion, and delaying your real progress.
An authentic business, one that is both financially sustainable and deeply meaningful to you, is profoundly connected to your own personal growth.
Real growth, by its nature, is about stretching beyond comfort zones, and digging deeper than you have before.
When comfortable, you’re not growing. Constant comfort begets complacency, entitlement, laziness.
You don’t have to be growing all the time, but without some consistent growth, your life becomes stagnant, and your business can’t thrive.
Even if you finally find the “best” business or marketing strategy in the history of the world, you will still need to apply the strategies to grow your business.
You’ll need to get through the challenges of building a reliable and creative structure that will fulfill your mission authentically and sustain you financially. That means you need to become a person who is reliably creative. See this post: Learn to be creative on demand, on schedule.
Also, you can’t use someone else’s system exactly to build your business and have it feel deeply meaningful to you. You’re always going to have to find your own customizations, based on your understanding of yourself, and using your own creativity, to allow your business to feel authentic to you.
There’s no secret out there that makes building a business easy all the time. Sure, there are strategies that allow you to use your efforts productively, but all productive effort requires courage, creativity, and perseverance.
Whenever you work on your business -- if you’re expecting it to be easy, light, and fun, you are likely either procrastinating, or doing something of little value.
The two essential actions for building a business -- creating value, and connecting with clients or referral sources -- can be exhilarating and fulfilling. However, everyday you will need to work in spite of the inevitable uncertainty, doubts, and the unwillingness.
“Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.” —Buddhist proverb
Creating value and getting customers always includes uncertainty, doubt, and probably procrastination. To work (to take steps to make progress) in spite of those feelings is by definition “painful” because you are stretching beyond your current state of inertia.
But that stretching can be reframed as adventure, and curiosity, and even profound play (I think of life as a giant video game!), instead of giving attention to your fear.
Everybody’s afraid when they’re creating or connecting. I’m fearful right this very moment that what I’m writing (creating) won’t connect with you. But I’m doing it in spite of the pain of fear, because I’ve reframed it as curiosity, adventure, and play.
Do you have a spiritual practice? Tap into it as many times a day as needed. It’s what is going to get you through the pain without having to unduly suffer.
My spiritual practice is the energy reboot and I do it multiple times a day -- whenever I have to do something challenging. And I try to do at least several challenging things a day because I know that that is where the most value is created for my clients, and for my own growth.
Your spiritual growth allows you to reframe your life and business challenges as something positive. And those challenges, if you work with them, are what truly grow your authentic business.
This whole thing about authentic business really resides on a foundation of spiritual practice. (If you’re curious about my spiritual philosophy, I talk about it on Soul Gym.)
Back to the original question: are you doing the work necessary to get successful results? Refer to this blog post: What to spend time on when building a business.
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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